Taylor Mays has potential to be versatile piece for Riders

Taylor Mays possesses the athletic traits to be a versatile piece in the Canadian Football League.

Pure athleticism is shown in the testing numbers he put up at the 2010 NFL combine, 4.43-second 40-yard sprint, 6.98-second three-cone, 41-inch vertical and 10-foot, five-inch broad jump display the explosion Chris Jones likes in his players.

Saskatchewan signed the defensive back Monday.

Mays was a Washington state champion in the 100- (10.54) and 200-metre (21.64) races as a sophomore in high school. That was the last year he ran track, opting to focus on football as a junior and senior. After a stellar high school career where he played defensive back, receiver, quarterback and returner, he was the No. 1 recruit coming out of the state in 2006. USC had lots of interest and Mays accepted a scholarship with the Trojans.

While at Southern California, Mays was a three-time first-team All-American. He was drafted in the second round, 49th overall by San Francisco in the 2010 NFL draft – father Stafford was an NFL defensive lineman for nine seasons with the Cardinals and Vikings (1980-1988). Over six seasons with the 49ers, Bengals and Raiders Mays made 124 tackles, defended 11 passes, recorded one sack and one forced fumble. The last game action he saw was in 2015 with Oakland. He was suspended twice for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, which ultimately led to his release from Cincinnati in July 2016.

Mays was a free agent from then until landing with the Riders. Saskatchewan is just getting a feel for the 29-year-old on the wider field where possibilities vary. He could be a safety, halfback or even a linebacker. Wherever he might line up, the Riders see Mays as having the potential to be a versatile piece.